GEORGE TOWN: National singles champion Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin told himself - "please, no more first round defeats this year.".
And on Wednesday, he kept to his word.
The 24-year-old Iskandar pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the day when he knocked out fourth seed Son Wan-ho of South Korea 21-5, 21-14 to clear the first round of the men's singles event in the Malaysian Masters at the SPICE Arena in Relau, Penang.
It is first time that he has beaten a top 15 player in the world. Wan-ho is ranked 13th in the world.
He will take on Anthony Ginting of Indonesia next.
"This is one of my memorable wins...what a great way to start the year," said Iskandar.
"I wanted this year to be different. I am not a young player anymore and it is time to produce results.
"Before sleeping yesterday, I told myself that I do not want to suffer another first round defeat and I played all out.
"Wan-ho was struggling to adjust to windy condition in the hall - and I took advantage of that."
Iskandar said it would put him in good stead ahead of the Asia Team Championships in Hyderabad from Feb 15-21, where he will be playing as the second singles.
Goh Soon Huat also enjoyed a good day when he dumped Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam 21-8, 21-16 to set up a meeting against Sameer Verma of India.
The others through to the second round, are Lee Chong Wei, Soo Teck Zhi, Zulfadli Zuliffli and Goh Giap Chin.
Chong Wei Feng's campaign ended when he went down 17-21, 11-21 to K. Srikanth of India.
(Malaysians unless stated)
Men's singles: Lee Chong Wei bt Fikri Ihsandi Hadmadi (Ina) 21-14, 21-15; Kantawat Leelavechabutr (Tha) bt Ali Ahmed El Khateeb (Egy) 21-10, 21-11; Derek Wong (Sin) bt Wisnu Yuli Prasetyo (Ina) 13-21, 21-16, 21-19; Soo Teck Zhi (Mas) bt Nathaniel Ernestan Sulistyo (Ina) 21-13, 21-15; Hu Yun (Hkg) bt Ai Wei Jian 21-13, 21-7; Zulfadli Zulkifli bt Zhi Siyuan 24-22, 21-14; Ajay Jayaram (Ind) bt Takuma Ueda (Jpn) 21-19, 21-11; Petr Koukal (Cze) bt Yuhan Yan (Bel) 21-13, 21-18.
Xue Song (Chn) bt Soong Joo Ven 21-17, 22-24, 21-14; Subhankar Dey (Ind) bt Kantaphon Wangcharoen (Tha) 21-19, 21-16; Artem Pochtarev (Ukr) bt Tan Chun Seang 21-19, 8-21, 21-17; Lee Dong-keun (Kor) bt Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) 21-18, 15-21, 21-18; Boonsak Ponsana (Tha) bt Liew Daren 21-10, 21-15; Riichi Takeshita (Jpn) bt Lin Yu-hsien (Tpe) 17-21, 21-14, 23-21; Simon Santoso (Ina) bt Wong Wing Ki (Hkg) 21-17, 21-19; Qiao Bin (Chn) bt Mohd Arif Abdul Latif 21-12, 21-19.
Goh Soon Huat bt Nguyen Tien Minh (Vie) 21-8, 21-16; Sameer Verma (Ind) bt Sho Sasaki (Jpn) 21-18, 21-18; Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) bt Wang Tzu-wei (Tpe) 21-14, 21-15; K. Srikanth (Ind) bt Chong Wei Feng 21-17, 21-11; Christie Jonatan (Ina) bt Shi Yuqi (Chn) 21-17, 21-12; Ginting Anthony (Ina) bt Chong Yee Han 19-21, 21-16, 23-21; B. Sai Praneeth (Ind) bt Shahzan Shah Misfahul 21-13, 21-15; Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin bt Son Wan-ho (Kor) 21-5, 21-14.
Lee Cheuk Yiu (Hkg) bt Eizlan Shah Misfahul Muneer 21-13, 21-15;
Jeon Hyeok-jin (Kor) bt Kenta Nishimoto (Jpn) 21-15, 24-22; Hsu Jen-hao (Tpe) bt Yeoh Seng Zoe 21-14, 21-15; Wei Nan (Hkg) bt Ihsan Maulana Mustofa (Ina) 21-18, 21-15; Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) bt Wibowo Setyaldi Putra (Ina) 21-18, 21-11; Goh Giap Chin bt Lim Chi Wing 21-19, 22-20; Huang Yuxiang (Chn) bt Chen Chun-wei (Tpe) 21-10, 21-12; Angus Ng Ka Long (Hkg) bt Zulhelmi Zulkiffli 4-0, rtd.